The WSFA Journal

March 2008

Adrienne Ertman, Secretary     Steve Smith, Editor
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March 7 2008, First Friday

WSFA March 1st Friday Minutes (March 7, 2008) by Adrienne Ertman, WSFA Secretary

Meeting called to order at 9:18 PM. Minutes read.

Treasurer's report:: $12,400.50 in checking, $16,510.62 in CDs.

Datclave: Solicited comments. People said it was fun. Someone asked about (live) bodies present; Bob McIntosh said 41 people had memberships.

Capclave Past has officially closed its books. Colleen Cahill thanked everyone who helped once more. Paul Haggerty asked: do you have a final body count? Sam Scheiner said he could look it up after the meeting.

Capclave Present: Sam Scheiner said that Sam Pierce is doing as fabulous job with the hotel: we may be able get more function space, and expand the room block, without paying more for the space. What the con needed to do next was get publicity out. The next Capclave meeting was announced for the first Saturday in April. Lee Strong asked about a list of department heads; Bill Lawhorn read off the list: Chair: Sam Scheiner, Vice Chair: Bill Lawhorn, Con Suite: Evan Phillips and Sarah Mitchell, Dealers Room: Judy Scheiner, Guest of Honor Liaison: Colleen Cahill, Hotel Liaison: Sam Pierce, Programming: Sam Lubell, Publications: Terry Somerville, Publicity: Cathy Green, Registration: Barry Newton, Treasurer: Bob Macintosh, Saturday Special Event: Elspeth Kovar, Website: Paul Haggerty & Gayle Surrette.

Capclave Future: : Bill Lawhorn was a little messed up by Peggy Rae's in 2010 hoax bid events. Colleen Cahill expressed concerns about Bill running two cons in one year; Bill replied that Peggy Rae will run them, dug. Lawnmower jokes ensued. Bill announced that Peggy Rae in 2010 presupports cost $20 and will get you the t-shirt. On a more serious note, he added that he's rounding up people for 2009 positions, but his con isn't as critical as Sam's con at this point.

Entertivities Committee: Sam Scheiner announced that the American Century Theater in Arlington would be hosting Thursday through Sunday events, including a Kurt Vonnegut film: Happy Birthday, Wanda Jane. Steve Smith reported on Yuri's Night events: he contacted the organizers, they really do exist, and they are very exited. Club members have been invited. See http://dc.yurisnight.net/ for event information. Someone asked about cover charge; tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Chris Neumann talked about a group of WSFA newbies going to see the movie Jumpers. He and Charles Abel presented their opinions. Chris thought it wasn't very good, and was Peter-Pan-like; Charles liked it more than Chris.

Publications Committee:Steve Smith had a new March WSFA Journal available in paper and on the web. Future Washington had no news. Ernest Lilley asked Michael Walsh about a date for Future Washington money numbers; Mike said, the first in April, but no fooling.

Awards Committee: Sam Scheiner reported that the WSPA committee received 69 submissions, twice as many as last year! The committee hopes to have the nominations for the club ready by May 1st, or May First Friday (the 2nd).

The Committee to Actually Discuss Science Fiction planned to discuss the March Asimov's after the business meeting.

Trustees: : First announced the trustees' slate for the May general election: President, Cathy Green; Vice President, Adrienne Ertman; Secretary, Steve Smith; Treasurer, Christina Abel; Capclave 2010 Chair, Gayle Surrette; Trustees: Ernest Lilley, Judy Newton, and Lee Strong.

The trustees next asked John Pomeranz to speak on the club's incorporation situation. The club forfeited its charter six years ago when it didn't file 2001 taxes. A note on corporation and tax-exempt status: in the federal tax code, there are 501(c)(3) organizations and 501(c)(4) organizations. We are not a 501(c)(3), we are a 501(c)(4).

To revive the club's Maryland charter, it needs to take several steps:

  1. Submit articles of revival with the signatures of the officers circa the charter lapse with $100.
  2. Submit the 2005 - 2007 tax returns and balance sheets (and, by the time this is done, the 2008, since taxes are due April 15th).

John added, as other people have said, that losing and reapplying for our charter is a pain, let's not do this again.

But wait, there's more! That's the state charter for incorporation. Our tax-exempt status is covered by federal 501(c)(4) legislation. 501(c)(4) organizations are not required to seek federal recognition, but it's better to do so. Once the club's Maryland charter is no longer lapsed, we need to file a form 1024.

At that point, according to John, we should be in full legal compliance.

Adrienne Ertman asked how the club can keep incorporation and tax-exempt status up to date. Lee Strong suggested changing the residential agent from Erica Ginter to Sam Lubell. He also suggested clarifying who has continuing responsibility for the paperwork.

Gayle Surrette asked about a time line, so we know what the club needs to file, or if we're on track for the year. John Pomeranz said the short version is April 15th and May 15th are the annual deadlines. Mike Bartman asked about putting a lawyer or legal form on retainer to deal with the annual paperwork. John was against this - it's not hard, and it's a good mark of organizational governance to do this. Barry Newton asked about a club nonprofit mailing permit and other state or federal tax exemptions. John said this would be easier after the IRS determination letter about our tax-exempt status. We're good on Maryland for one-stop shopping except for the sales tax exemption, and we should wait on the IRS letter before considering going after that. Bill Lawhorn asked about the Pomeranz-Overton 4th of July party and suggested Independence as a theme. Sam Lubell moved to thank John for resolving the incorporation issue. John protested vehemently, as it took him so long to do the paperwork. Colleen then moved that the club berate John. Neither motion passed.

Old business: No old business.

New business: Sam Lubell noted that the next WSFA meeting fell on the Jewish holiday of Purim and moved the club encourage members to come in costume, in the spirit of the holiday. Sam Scheiner seconded Sam's motion. Adrienne Ertman called the question. It passed with many ayes, one nay, and three abstentions. Lee Strong wanted "nay" written as "oy vey".

Mike Bartman brought up a recent possible spam message on the WSFA Yahoo discussion group. The message lead to a vigorous and heated discussion on the list. Mike wanted the standing rules changed to give the list moderators more authority to prevent spam on-list. Ernest Lilley commented that this was a good direction to take discussion, but suggested discussion be postponed. Paul Haggerty noted that there's been "one maybe spam in two and a half years". Extensive discussion of the rules ensued. Mike Bartman emphasized his desire for a "just in case" scenario to avoid the list being flooded with spam at a future time. Ernest suggested increasing the moderators' charter to shut down spammers. He encouraged more discussion and WSFA activity on-list. As discussion of the list continued, Ernest moved that the WSFA mailing list on Yahoo be shut down as having no real value. The motion was seconded. Barry Newton and Candy Madigan objected. Charles Abel asked about absolving moderation and making the WSFA list unofficial. As the discussion drifted from the initial topic, Bill Lawhorn called the question. Ernest's motion to shut down the WSFA list was defeated with no ayes, many nays, and one abstention. Bill moved Mike Bartman's motion be tabled. This was seconded.

Paul Haggerty introduced one more piece of new business: a "shiny prototype [WSFA] website". He's looking for art to revamp the logo, and noted that the new calendar allows multiple posters. At the moment, the secretary and webmasters have been assigned posting privileges, but who else should be able to? John Pomeranz objected to the Julian calendar.

New people: No new people.


Meeting unanimously adjourned at 10:27 PM.

Attendance: Christina Abel, Charles Abel, Drew Bittner, Colleen Cahill, Adrienne Ertman, Paul Haggerty, Bill Lawhorn, Ernest Lilley, Sam Lubell, Candy Madigan, Sandra Marshall, Bob McIntosh, Sarah Mitchell, Chris Neumann, Barry Newton, Judy Newton, Dick Roepke, Judy Scheiner, Sam Scheiner, George Shiner, Steve Smith, Laura Somerville, Terry Somerville, Lee Strong, Gayle Surrette, Michael Walsh, Ivy Yap, Madeleine Yeh

March 21 2008, Third Friday

WSFA March 3rd Friday Minutes (March 21, 2008) by Adrienne Ertman, WSFA Secretary

Meeting called to order at at 9:13 PM. Minutes summarized and read.

Treasurer's report: in checking.

Capclave Present: Was not present. Bill Lawhorn says the concom's reviewing contracts: the hotel sent a contract for 2009, not for 2008 — 2009 (the rolling contract that tacks on an additional year to the current contract). This is getting fixed. Mike Bartman asked about function space and conversation digressed into contract concerns about food. Essentially, the hotel doesn't want the con doing anything that violates Montgomery County health codes. Room parties have a waiver as private functions, but there's a lot of things the con suite can't do — dips, home-made baked goods — without running afoul of the health codes.

Bill also mentioned that the con's going to get the room block expanded; we massively exceeded it last year, so we've got no worries about filling it.

Capclave Future:

Datclave: Cathy Green asked about the money situation; Mike Walsh reported that the books aren't finished, but it looks like the con will finish with a slight deficit on the order of $200. Someone asked about membership numbers. WSFAns estimated membership to be in the low to mid 40’s (Colleen Cahill suggested 42 plus some base number, Adrienne Ertman added All your base are belong to us?). Someone mentioned that Mike Pierce had been selling Datclave 3 memberships Sunday morning. Bill Lawhorn discussed the Peggy Rae in 2010 party; someone noted that when the Montreal Worldcon bid published the site nomination statistics, the French version spelled Peggy Rae correctly, but the English version did not. The club was amused.

Entertivities Committee: Absent. Elizabeth Twitchell noted that Battlestar Galactica's last season starts in April. Adrienne Ertman reported that Hugo nominees were up.

Publications Committee: Steve Smith had paper copies of the last three WSFA Journals, and appealed to WSFAns for con reports. Website and Future Washington had no news.

Awards Committee: Paul Haggerty reported that he personally has read half of the nominees. Cathy Green asked about submitting reviews or scores as a committee member; Paul and Cathy agreed to clarify that after the meeting.

The Committee to Actually Discuss Science Fiction planned to discuss the March issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction after the business meeting, led by Sam Lubell.

Trustees: First announced no news on the incorporation front. John Pomeranz should have all the information he needs to resolve the situation, but he may be waiting to hear back from the appropriate Maryland authorities. Second, Lee announced the general election for WSFA officers and read the trustee's slate: President, Cathy Green; Vice President, Adrienne Ertman; Secretary, Steve Smith; Treasurer, Christina Abel; Capclave 2010 Chair, Gayle Surrette; Trustees: Earnest Lilley, Judy Newton, and Lee Strong.

Old Business: The only outstanding old business was Mike Bartman's motion from the March First Friday meeting. Mike recapped the situation for WSFAns who missed it. List owners Paul Haggerty and Earnest Lilley, moderators are Gayle Surrette and Drew Bittner. Mike withdrew his motion because it was superseded by…

New Business: Mike made a motion; the club discussed the motion; Mike withdrew his motion.

Bill Lawhorn made a motion to have discussion of Mike's motion stricken from the minutes. This was seconded by Paul Haggerty. Colleen Cahill called the question, and the motion passed unanimously.

Mike Bartman made a second motion: Since there appear to be differences in understanding among the Secretary, moderators and owners of the WSFA Yahoo Group, and questions among club members as to what the rules are for permissible content, authorized actions by those with power over the management of the WSFA Yahoo Group, and who owns, moderates or is responsible for the WSFA Yahoo Group from the perspective of the WSFA, and since this situation has resulted in censorship, confusion, anger, and other undesirable things, I move that the club revise the Standing Rules document to clearly state any and all policies related to ownership, moderation, and rules concerning all official WSFA mailing lists, Yahoo Groups or similar listserves. Such rules revision to be complete by the third meeting following the adoption of this motion. The club discussed the timing — third meeting after March Third Friday would be the May First Friday and general elections. Several members objected to adding more business to an a meeting which is already likely to run long. The wording was amended from … by the third meeting following the adoption of this motion to by the third Friday in May. The club also discussed the wording, which some members felt was verbose (in John Madigan's words). Paul Haggerty suggested that the full motion contained critical detail. Charles Abel commented that …since this situation has resulted in censorship, confusion, anger, and other undesirable things… boiled down to hurt feelings leading to the creation of new rules, and questioned whether this was a good precedent to set. He suggested a friendly amendment to remove all parts of the amendment before I move that the club… Mike Bartman rejected the amendment. Bill Lawhorn called the question. Mike was asked to reread the motion. Sam Lubell objected to having the question called; Cathy Green asked for comments. Steve Smith said motions are for what to do, not why, and said he'd propose a motion if Mike's failed. John Madigan suggested that in a group of writers such as WSFA has, why can't the writers work on a better motion? The club voted and the motion failed, with 10 ayes and 10 nays. Steve made a motion that I move that the club revise the Standing Rules document to clearly state any and all policies related to ownership, moderation, and rules concerning all official WSFA mailing lists, Yahoo Groups or similar listserves. Such rules revision to be complete by the third Friday in May. The motion passed unanimously.

New people: No new people.


Meeting unanimously adjourned at 10:33 PM.

Attendance: Attendance: Christina Abel, Charles Abel, Mike Bartman, Drew Bittner, Colleen Cahill, Adrienne Ertman, Carolyn Frank, Cathy Green, Paul Haggerty, Bill Lawhorn, Sam Lubell, Sandra Marshall, Sarah Marshall, Sander Olson, Evan Philips, Steve Smith, Bill Squire, Lee Strong, Elizabeth Twitchell, Michael Walsh, Ivy Yap

Gary Gygax, 1938-2008

The Ultimate Game


Mini-Reviews by Samuel Lubell

The Algebraist, by Iain M. Banks. This is a fun space opera with lots of locations and characters to keep track of. It was fun, but I probably should reread it at some point to really understand it. The main character, Fassin Taak, is a Slow Seer, meaning that he dives (with a machine) into gas giant planets to communicate with the Dwellers there. But on one of his dives he makes a discovery about a secret Dweller wormhole network that leads to an intergalactic war. Worse yet, he is secretly spying for one of the sides of the conflict. One doesn't need to know the other Culture books to understand this one and the Dweller civilization is a fascinating culture, very different than the human and other alien groups, sometimes to their mutual frustration. Highly recommended.

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon. This is only borderline fantasy but a wonderful novel about the early days of the comic industry. Two Jewish cousins, one of whom just escaped Hitler's Europe, create a comic book character, the Escapist, based on Joe Kavalier's own training in stage magic and escape artistry. The sole fantasy element is that the Golem of Prague was real and Kavalier and his mentor smuggle it out of Hitler's army's grasp. This is a very well written novel, that deserved its Pulitzer prize. Very highly recommended.

Axis by Robert Charles Wilson. This is a sequel to Spin, although that novel's characters are only mentioned in passing. The novel is set on the second planet linked to Earth at the end of Spin. A group of humans have engineered a human with some alien genes to communicate with the Hypotheticals, the aliens who moved Earth into the far future. The main character, Lise, stumbles on this in the course of investigating her long-vanished father. This is interesting, but nowhere near as engrossing as Spin.

Bright of the Sky by Kay Kenyon. I wanted to like the book more than I did. In it, star pilot Titus Quinn is compelled to return to an alternate universe, called the Entire, that apparently killed his wife, enslaved his daughter, and shattered his memories. Very slowly, he learns that some in the Entire have ways of observing his universe, which they call the Rose, and have copied humans genetically to be servants and adopted some parts of Earth culture. But there is a secret plan to destroy Earth's universe in order to power this Entire. Quinn has to choose between warning Earth and trying to rescue his daughter. The problem with this book is that much of it is focused on Quinn's trying to discover what really happened on his last visit to the Entire. I'd wait to see if the second book is better before recommending this one.

Hugo Nominations

Denvention  3 From Laurie Mann, Denvention Webmaster:

Denvention 3, the 66th World Science Fiction Convention, is pleased to announce the ballot for the Hugo Awards, also known as the Science Fiction Achievement Awards. Nominations were made by the members of last years World Science Fiction Convention, held in Yokohama, and this year's, to be held in Denver. Members of the 2008 convention will have until July 1, 2008, to vote on this ballot. Winners will be announced and trophies awarded at Denvention's Hugo Awards Ceremony, Saturday, August 9.

The voting is conducted by mail and on-line. Ballots will be included in the next Progress Report to be mailed by the Convention in early April. The on-line ballot will be available at www.Denvention.org/hugos in the near future. Only people who are members Denvention 3 can vote, but memberships may be obtained at the same site. A supporting membership is $50US and an attending membership is $200US. Either membership can vote on the Hugos, but only an attending membership will have the fun of being in Denver for 5 days of non-stop science fiction.

This year's ballot has a couple of interesting features. It is the first year we have asked artists to submit citations for works published in the year in question, 2007 in this case. We hope this will help our membership make interesting and informed choices.

The Dramatic Presentation categories are often a challenge to administrate and this year was no different. The television show Battlestar Galactica released two versions of the episode "Razor", one shown on TV and a longer version available only on DVD. The Short Form version received enough nominations to make the ballot in that category; the Long Form version did not receive enough nominations to make the ballot.

We also have the entire first season of the television show Heroes nominated in the Long Form category. This is unusual, but the nominators evidently felt that it was one long multipart story whose parts did not stand alone. That makes it eligible as a whole in the year in which the last part appeared, which was 2007.

One writer who received enough ballots to appear on the Campbell Award section of the ballot was determined to be ineligible. Two categories had ties resulting in a larger number of nominees than usual.

Questions may be addressed to the Hugo Administrator at hugoadmin@denvention.org

Best Novel

Best Novella

Best Novelette

Best Short Story

Best Related Book

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form

Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form

Best Professional Editor, Long Form

Best Professional Editor

  • Ellen Datlow (The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror (St. Martin's), Coyote Road (Viking), Inferno (Tor))
  • Stanley Schmidt (Analog)
  • Jonathan Strahan (The New Space Opera (HarperCollins/Eos), The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, Volume 1 (Night Shade), Eclipse One (Night Shade))
  • Gordon Van Gelder (The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction)
  • Sheila Williams (Asimov's Science Fiction)
  • Best Professional Artist

    Best Semiprozine

    Best Fanzine

    Best Fan Writer

    Best Fan Artist

    John W. Campbell Award for Best New Science Fiction Writer

    An award for the best new writer whose first work of science fiction or fantasy appeared during 2006 or 2007 in a professional publication. Sponsored by Dell Magazines.


    From the Editor

    I'd expected a few convention reports — February is a big month for cons. Oh, well.

    — Steve Smith, Editor, The WSFA Journal

    The WSFA Journal is the official publication of the Washington Science Fiction Association.
    Copyright © 2008 WSFA, Inc.
    All rights reserved